France v Scotland Under-20 | Match Report
A highly physical French side proved too strong for the young Scots at Stade Armandie in the third instalment of the 2023 Under-20 Six Nations.
After almost 10 minutes of impressive attack and defence from both teams, France passed out to scrum-half Léo Caronneau on the wing who dived over the whitewash. France’s conversion was successful.
However, Scotland had a quick response as the back line set things alight when Geordie Gwynn, who had just joined the field to replace Ben Evans, danced through the French defence before sliding over the try line. Unfortunately the referee’s decision was that the ball was knocked on in the process.
But the no-try decision galvanised Scotland, and a rolling maul saw Rudi Brown crash down for his third try in the 2023 Under-20 Six Nations, taking Scotland onto the scoresheet.
The home-side of course had something to say, and just moments later, a break from French centre Arthur Mathiron quickly added another five points to the French scoreboard.
France added another five when a quick pass from Louis Penverne to Carbonneau allowed the scrum-half to dash over the whitewash for his second try of the night. The conversion was made.
Scotland kept up the tempo and fought back with some quick attack before the forward pack began to trundle forward. Corey Tait found himself just meters from the whitewash but was held up. Quick work to get the ball back out saw Craig Davidson support Ruaraidh Hart to crash across the line for Scotland’s second try of the night. Richie Simpson’s golden boots were back on form and the conversion was successful, narrowing the deficit.
However, France had something to say and they claimed their bonus point just moments later. Despite a double hit from Tait and Brown, France’s Lenni Nouchi stretched out his arm to dot the ball across the line. Reus added the extras.
Right on half time, the stampeding French men brought their score up with another as Nouchi crossed the threshold once again. Reus backed it up with the conversion.
Half-Time: FRA 33–12 SCO
Whilst France were first to score in the opening half, Scotland had some golden moments in their defence, with Jonny Rutherford, in particular, making his presence off the bench known.
After 15 minutes of back and forth, a break from Frenchman Oscar Jegou, got the men-in-white another five points to their tally. Reus once again converted.
Another tough 10 minutes followed for the Scots, as the thunderous noise of the 10,000 supporter strong Stade Armandie rippled through the air.
A close-range line out saw Zaccharie Affane push through the Scottish defence and dot down over the whitewash. Rues extended their lead with the extras.
France controlled much of the second half, but with that said, the young Scots worked hard in their scramble defence. Richie Simpson and Geordie Gwynn tore down the French attack just shy of the try line on more than one occasion.
Despite the best efforts of the Scots, it wasn’t to be in Argen. And the final play of the game saw France awarded a penalty try.
Full-Time: FRA 54 – 12 SCO
France: 15. Louis Penverne; 14. Léo Drouet, 13. Arthur Mathiron, 12. Paul Costes, 11 Hugo Trouilloud; 10. Hugo Reus, 9. Léo Carbonneau; 1. Louis Penverne, 2. Pierre Jouvin, 3. Maino Pakihivatau, 4. Bastien Chinarro, 5. Lenni Nouchi, 6. Oscar Jegou, 7. Esteban Capilla, 8. Marko Gazzotti. Substitutes: 16. Thomas Lacombre, 17. Luca Tabarot, 18. Zaccharie Affane, 19. Charly Gambini, 20. Cyriac Guilly, 21. Mathis Castro-Ferreira, 22. Axel Desperes, 23. Léon Darricarrere.
Scotland: 15. Dan King; 14. Ben Evan, 13. Duncan Munn, 12. Kerr Yule, 11. William Robinson; 10. Richie Simpson, 9. Finlay Burgess; 1. Craig Davidson, 2. Corey Tait, 3. Moby Ogunlaja, 4. Jake Parkinson, 5. Ruaraidh Hart, 6. Liam McConnell (CC), 7. Rudi Brown, 8. Jonny Morris. Substitutes: 16. Jerry Blyth-Lafferty, 17. Max Surry, 18. Robbie Deans, 19. Eddie Erskine, 20. Johnny Rutherford, 21. Ewan Guy, 22. Charlie Clare, 23. Geordie Gwynn.